A former Deliveroo rider has launched his own food delivery start-up after receiving £20,000 from Islington Council.

The Town Hall has provided six months' backing for Rich Mason and his company Wings as part of its ‘green economy’ initiative.

Council chiefs were impressed by the company operating as a cooperative - meaning it is owned and run by the delivery drivers themselves. Wings will also provide sick pay and has committed to using only zero emission vehicles for deliveries.

The move is in contrast to Deliveroo, one of UK’s biggest delivery services, not guaranteeing riders minimum wage, benefits or sick pay as they are classed as self-employed.

Wings is set to start delivering this Friday, July 23. It will serve the Finsbury Park area on Fridays and Saturdays, and will provide food only from independent local businesses.

Mr Mason is set to appear at the Nag’s Head town centre meeting tomorrow and encouraged local food businesses to attend.

He said: “The pandemic has highlighted the crucial role of delivery riders, who put themselves at risk to keep the nation going through lockdown.

“All they got in return is poverty wages and insecurity, while company owners got rich.

“For riders, this is about disrupting the disruptors, taking back power so we can afford to live decent lives from the hard work we put in. For customers, we’re offering the best of all worlds – a way to enjoy their favourite food with none of the guilt.”

Asima Shaikh, Labour councillor for Finsbury Park and executive member for inclusive economy and jobs, called Wings “an innovative and exciting ethical alternative to existing food delivery platforms”.

Wings first formed during the initial coronavirus lockdown, delivering food to needy families across London. Rich and his team decided to use their experience to form an alternative to major delivery services like Deliveroo and JustEat.